Nostradamus: The Last Prophecy Review - 17/09/2008

Produced by a cacophony of gaming studios, this point and click adventure aims to add to the healthy genre on the PC platform. Between the developers and producers there is a history of strong adventure games, but does The Last Prophecy match their previous work?

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the only game based on the life and works of Nostradamus, as a feature listed prominently on the game's fact sheet attests. While one wonders if there may possibly be a reason for this, a historical setting for this sort of adventure is never a bad thing as other titles from the group such as Egypt and Versailles proves.

The story is therefore a relatively strong one. You play the role of Madeleine, the sexy daughter of Nostradamus, who, in a bizarre situation which sounds fairly out of place with the middle of the sixteenth-century, is asked by the great man to dress up as his son to do a job Nostradamus himself is too lazy/ill to do, with his son also currently on business elsewhere. A curse has befallen the royal family of France, with a new death coming on each day. The whole bizarre situation with Madeleine dressing up as a man to examine the forensic evidence and discover the secret behind the murders and curse is of course designed to emphasise the gender barriers of the period. The fact that you can strip Madeleine down and wander round in her underwear will however possibly dissuade feminists across the globe from rushing to pick up the game.

The inventory screen and typical teenager – wandering round in their underwear in the middle of the day.

The first mission which sees you finding items around the Nostradamus household to dress yourself up in so as to look like Cesar (her brother/the son) is a good introduction to the game. Frustratingly though there are virtually no constructive hints, and as with many games in this genre you just have to try every combination of items and tools to try and proceed. This is made all the more difficult by the assortment of permanent instruments in your inventory such as pliers, a scalpel and tweezers. You end up trying each of these on every viable item to try and manufacture a path through the levels. No hints are ever given, a real disadvantage in a game like this as if you get stuck you basically have to try and find a solution on the net or just give up completely. More positively however, you are told which items can be interacted with and if you store them at the back of your mind it saves you time going through all the rooms again looking for answers later. Remembering that there is a certain device in a certain room as new objectives arise is a timesaver and shows the well constructed nature of most of the tasks.

Some others however, such as the astrology, are just ridiculously abstract. The game seems to assume a depth of knowledge about astrology, what the icons mean and offers no help whatsoever on it during the game. The fact that there are tasks which require this knowledge mean you pretty much have to learn the art as you go along.

The environments are well created and imagined.

You get points for how well you go about your life, which probably means you won't be getting very many. While it's difficult to measure exactly, we assume repeatedly talking to an elderly man as a twenty year old girl in her underwear to ask for help dressing up as a guy is probably not a wise choice. You get points depending on how effectively and efficiently you go about your mission.

1 - 2 - Next



Lighthouse Int.